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With 58% ownership of the shares, Bank of America Corporation (NYSE:BAC) is heavily dominated by institutional owners

Key Insights

  • Given the large stake in the stock by institutions, Bank of America's stock price might be vulnerable to their trading decisions

  • A total of 25 investors have a majority stake in the company with 48% ownership

  • Ownership research along with analyst forecasts data help provide a good understanding of opportunities in a stock

To get a sense of who is truly in control of Bank of America Corporation (NYSE:BAC), it is important to understand the ownership structure of the business. We can see that institutions own the lion's share in the company with 58% ownership. In other words, the group stands to gain the most (or lose the most) from their investment into the company.

Given the vast amount of money and research capacities at their disposal, institutional ownership tends to carry a lot of weight, especially with individual investors. Therefore, a good portion of institutional money invested in the company is usually a huge vote of confidence on its future.

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Let's delve deeper into each type of owner of Bank of America, beginning with the chart below.

Check out our latest analysis for Bank of America

ownership-breakdown
ownership-breakdown

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About Bank of America?

Institutional investors commonly compare their own returns to the returns of a commonly followed index. So they generally do consider buying larger companies that are included in the relevant benchmark index.

We can see that Bank of America does have institutional investors; and they hold a good portion of the company's stock. This implies the analysts working for those institutions have looked at the stock and they like it. But just like anyone else, they could be wrong. It is not uncommon to see a big share price drop if two large institutional investors try to sell out of a stock at the same time. So it is worth checking the past earnings trajectory of Bank of America, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.

earnings-and-revenue-growth
earnings-and-revenue-growth

Investors should note that institutions actually own more than half the company, so they can collectively wield significant power. We note that hedge funds don't have a meaningful investment in Bank of America. Our data shows that Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is the largest shareholder with 13% of shares outstanding. With 7.7% and 6.2% of the shares outstanding respectively, The Vanguard Group, Inc. and BlackRock, Inc. are the second and third largest shareholders.

A deeper look at our ownership data shows that the top 25 shareholders collectively hold less than half of the register, suggesting a large group of small holders where no single shareholder has a majority.

While studying institutional ownership for a company can add value to your research, it is also a good practice to research analyst recommendations to get a deeper understand of a stock's expected performance. Quite a few analysts cover the stock, so you could look into forecast growth quite easily.

Insider Ownership Of Bank of America

The definition of company insiders can be subjective and does vary between jurisdictions. Our data reflects individual insiders, capturing board members at the very least. Company management run the business, but the CEO will answer to the board, even if he or she is a member of it.

Insider ownership is positive when it signals leadership are thinking like the true owners of the company. However, high insider ownership can also give immense power to a small group within the company. This can be negative in some circumstances.

Our information suggests that Bank of America Corporation insiders own under 1% of the company. Being so large, we would not expect insiders to own a large proportion of the stock. Collectively, they own US$334m of stock. It is always good to see at least some insider ownership, but it might be worth checking if those insiders have been selling.

General Public Ownership

With a 28% ownership, the general public, mostly comprising of individual investors, have some degree of sway over Bank of America. While this group can't necessarily call the shots, it can certainly have a real influence on how the company is run.

Public Company Ownership

Public companies currently own 13% of Bank of America stock. This may be a strategic interest and the two companies may have related business interests. It could be that they have de-merged. This holding is probably worth investigating further.

Next Steps:

It's always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand Bank of America better, we need to consider many other factors.

I like to dive deeper into how a company has performed in the past. You can access this interactive graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow, for free.

If you are like me, you may want to think about whether this company will grow or shrink. Luckily, you can check this free report showing analyst forecasts for its future.

NB: Figures in this article are calculated using data from the last twelve months, which refer to the 12-month period ending on the last date of the month the financial statement is dated. This may not be consistent with full year annual report figures.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.